WUC renovations set for spring 2014 completion

Photo by Madison Fantozzi

Marisol Medina//Contributing Writer

Anyone who has ever tried to study at the Wolfe University Center has become acquainted with the loudness of the center, especially the pounding noise produced by custodial carts being pushed over the brick floor.

This summer, students at Biscayne Bay Campus will endure another loud clamor; but this time it is the construction aimed at remodeling WUC and finding a solution for the rattling bricks.

Renovations will include an all glass front entrance, new tiles on the ground floor, carpeted hallways and a new lounging area replacing the computer lab with see-through panels and new furniture.

“I am very excited not only for how it is going to look, but because we are also going to have a replica of [Modesto Madique Campus’] panther statue,” said Rafael Zapata, Student Government Association advisor.

Zapata said the renovation will change the way people view the campus, helping it stand out to those who are unfamiliar with BBC.

“If you were walking around campus, and you didn’t know where the Wolfe Center was, it was pretty easy to get lost, because how it is currently set up, it doesn’t stand out,” said Zapata.

The renovation is SGA’s largest funded project, according to Zapata.

“Last year, a plan for an expansion of the Wolfe Center was submitted, but President Rosenberg actually wanted a bigger scope, which is what you will see now was proposed,” said Zapata.

The total cost of the renovations is about $3 million. Two and a half million dollars is funded by monies from student activities and service fees that were not spent throughout the year. The funds are intended for emergency situations, but both MMC and BBC SGA councils voted to approve the allocation of the money to the renovation project.

The project’s additional $750,000 is from savings over three years allocated to the renovation project specifically.

Scott Jones, the recently appointed director of the Wolfe Center, is eight weeks into the job but has extensive experience dealing with a variety of renovations. Jones had previously worked as MMC’s residence life coordinator at University Park Apartments.

According to Jones, the primary objective of the renovations is to activate the space differently, tearing down large concrete structures that were added over time to a building that was originally designed to be an exterior exposed facility.

“This is going to be the spot to see or be seen,” said Jones.  “It will be a comfortable place for students to hang out between class or during different events and activities.”

The demolition phase of the project ends June 20, followed by the construction phase that will involve installation of ceiling surfaces, glass railing, wall surface, paint and furniture.

Jones expects to carpet the floors to reduce the noise produced by the bricks. This first phase of construction, called Project I, is planned for June 21 through October 24.

Project II will begin immediately after phase one and will involve installing flooring, ceilings and work on outside WUC areas, which will involve installing the new panther statue, relocating the flagpoles and new landscaping . This phase will tentatively end in December.

“This is an opportunity to redefine Wolfe and Panther Square,” said Jones.

Estefania Jaramillo, a senior journalism major, said she is trying to cope with the noise and disorder of construction.

“When I came on first day of summer class, it was horrible because there were areas I could not get to, some areas were closed and it was hard to find my way around,” said Jaramillo.

Jaramillo said she would be happier withstanding the noise if she knew about the project and had been informed of the limitations in transiting through WUC.

Donaldy Salvant, a junior international relations major, works at WUC’s administration office.

“The noise is sometimes a bother but besides that it’s no big trouble, and I am excited about the construction. I saw the new design and it looks pretty cool,” said Salvant.

For now, students will experience the construction site until spring 2014, when ribbon cutting is scheduled to introduce the renovated Wolfe University Center.

1 Comment on "WUC renovations set for spring 2014 completion"

  1. do you have pictures of how it is going to look like?

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